Time of their lives in prison

Richard Oppong-Boateng, who joined our prisons team last summer, shares some of the most powerful moments he’s experienced seeing some of the most broken lives restored.

Each week I walk through the wings praying that these men will look back on their time in prison and say, ‘This was the best time of my life because I met Jesus.’

I recently saw a tangible answer to that prayer when we had a worship time on the wings. We had six guys who are twice the size of me and they were singing their hearts out, ‘There’s no place I’d rather be.’ Lots of people came running in wondering what was going on.

These men are finding freedom in their hearts even while being locked in a cell.

As well being able to speak about Jesus, the other highlight is building relationships that continue outside of prison. If we want to stop them re-offending, it’s about having the right support mechanism around them.

I’ve had the opportunity to work in HMP Hindley where I do a guitar group, which is funny because I can’t play the guitar. The prisoners come in and they start teaching me chords. But God is so faithful and he will just use a willing heart.

I got to know one guy who was coming to these sessions and I soon realised he was a Christian and he wanted to grow in his faith. We continued this relationship outside of prison and he’s been going to church with me and he’s really growing in his faith. You can see a future for his life and he tells me, ‘Richard, I can see what God has got in store for me.’

That’s the beauty of the gospel. We keep praying those ridiculous prayers that prisoners will look back at and see this was truly best time of their lives.

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